By: Joliene Adams
Boulder band Intuit’s frontwoman Chloe Watkins drinks unadulterated holy water straight from the tap. This lyric confession comes out through melodious, textured hydroscapes on Intuit’s track “Holy Water”, from their 2012 self-titled album.
“Wind, rain, water…” Watkins says, “But mostly, water.”
Yet all of these elements are included in Intuit’s musical influences: rain sticks and waves blend over shorelines, a cool rush of water enters your ears, a languid warmth from a small horn section rolls in overtop.
Listen to Intuit’s “Holy Water”:
But right now, there’s the unmistakable sound of a bee buzzing near Watkins as the two of us sit on the patio outside one of the trailers on “the sunny side” of Eldorado Canyon, where the daylight lasts a little bit longer. It’s here where Watkins makes a new declaration: If she could have it your way on stage, which partly consists of you having the best, most daily-grind reversing and rejuvenating experience possible, you’d be tripping the light fantastic. Dancing. That substance free, mood-altering practice humans have exercised since the Paleolithic era, best we can tell. That’s to trip the light fantastic. An old, favorite phrase. And the music you hear from Intuit is inspired by these time-honored traditions.
When Watkins “sees someone dancing with their eyes closed”, she knows she’s “brought them to another space.” Describing Intuit’s music as “healing”, she knows it sounds silly. But music is healing: a relaxed frame of mind, of movement; we reap multiple health benefits from both. It just might be hubris to proclaim oneself a healer. But she doesn’t.
Check out Intuit’s live performance on Second Story Garage:
You don’t have to be 100% into groove-based funk, reggae and hip-hop influenced music to appreciate what Intuit does. “Music needs a listener.” Watkins tells me. This is why she considers live performances as the best rehearsal. “If you don’t take it out of the closet, it isn’t music. It’s got to come out and play to be fulfilled as an art form.” This stands out as a defining ethic, and one to be respected, regardless of genre. Rootsy, earthy comfort food. That’s how I describe the sounds of Intuit; where the emotional weight a cello can bring helps thread in the grounding nature of what is otherwise an eclectic mix of the traditional setup of a guitar-vocalist (Neil Sullivan), bassist (Matt North), drummer (John Jyemo), and percussionist (Scott Parker Mast).
As the bee near Watkins keeps buzzing, she tells me: “Neil and I are the original members. We’ve had the intention to play music for our whole lives. Playing music is what we set out to do”. Intuit possesses a “hell or high water” commitment to their music-making, and a passion for the world around them and the people, places, and things within it.
Their drive is evident in their recent happenings: Intuit has played The Fox, competed in and placed second in this year’s Oskar Blues Battle Of The Bands, and are currently about a month into recording their newest album at The Crucible Recording Studio in Eldorado Springs.
“There’s this bee that won’t leave me alone!”
I confess, like one of those terrible people who don’t tell you something’s in your teeth, that I knew it was there. It lands on her third eye. When it finally sits on her forehead, I can’t help but think of her as marked: marked with the parallel of productivity and the ability to orchestrate grand things through her daily devotion to hard work, to making music, and to drinking that unadulterated holy water. Bottoms up!
You can catch Intuit in Denver at the Appaloosa Bar & Grill this Wednesday (4/20), or in May at Denver’s Spread The Word Music Festival at Quixote's and its Boulder counterpart, Owsley's. Keep up with Intuit on their website.
I am obsessed with language and count music in it's scope. Raised on doo-wop, grunge rock, and Merle Haggard in the PCNW, I still own my first cassette. That was Buddy Holly and this is now. I like to dance. With or without background music.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured.